How to Brush Baby’s Teeth When They Refuse

Having a baby come into the household is one of the most rewarding experiences any parent can have, but it’s not always easy. Many parents find brushing their teeth difficult when caring for babies, as some may refuse to follow instructions and cooperate with this very important dental ritual.

How to Brush Baby's Teeth When They Refuse

With baby teeth prone to cavities and decay, it’s important to ensure your child maintains proper oral health care. But what do you do if they refuse? How can you ensure your little one will have a healthy smile in the future while still navigating the temper tantrums of today? We’re here with all the tips and tricks needed for successfully brushing baby’s teeth when they don’t want you to – so keep reading!

Here are some tips on how to brush baby’s teeth when they refuse.

What Will You Need?

Ensure you have all the necessary supplies once you’re ready to start brushing.

  1. Soft-bristled toothbrush
  2. Toothpaste formulated for babies/toddlers
  3. Water cup (or water bottle without a nozzle)
  4. Distractions or rewards (optional)

Once you have these items, introduce your child to the process.

10 Easy Steps on How to Brush Baby’s Teeth When They Refuse

Step 1: Make it Fun.

If brushing teeth is associated with negative feelings, your baby may be more likely to refuse. So turn it into a fun experience! Make brushing time playful and enjoyable to make it an activity your child looks forward to.

Step 2: Establish a Routine.

Start by establishing a routine for brushing your teeth that works best for your family. You can brush their teeth twice a day, every morning and night. This helps your child learn the importance of oral hygiene and good habits.

Step 3: Start Young.

It’s important to start as early as possible when it comes to brushing a baby’s teeth – even before all the baby teeth have come in! Wiping their gums with gauze or a soft damp cloth is essential for removing bacteria and keeping them healthy.

Step 4: Buy the Right Toothbrush.

Soft-bristled Brush is Ideal

When it comes to brushing baby’s teeth, make sure you have the right toothbrush for them. A soft-bristled brush is ideal for a young child as they are gentle on the gums and delicate enamel of baby teeth while still providing enough cleaning power. If you’re using a manual toothbrush, make sure to choose one with a small head that can reach all areas of the mouth.

Step 5: Use Fluoride Free Toothpaste.

Look for kinds of toothpaste that are made specifically for babies and toddlers – they don’t contain fluoride, which can be harmful if swallowed in large doses. This helps reduce any risk of accidental ingestion when your little one is learning how to spit out instead of swallowing after brushing. Try to avoid using regular toothpaste until your baby is old enough to spit it out.

Step 6: Let Them Do It Too!

Let them do some brushing of your baby’s teeth too. This not only encourages self-confidence and independence but also helps them learn how to brush their teeth correctly. Guide their hand with the toothbrush and demonstrate proper technique.

Step 7: Give Praise and Encouragement.

Positive reinforcement goes a long way when teaching children new skills – so don’t forget to give praise whenever they’re able to complete a good brushing session successfully. This will help make brushing time enjoyable for both you and your child while reinforcing good habits that will last into adulthood. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back, too!

Step 8: Establish Rewards or Distractions.

If your child still refuses to brush their teeth, try establishing a reward system or providing distractions. For example, you can offer stickers as rewards for successful brushing sessions or provide toys and books for them to play with while sitting in the bathroom. This will help make brushing time more enjoyable for your little one and can even encourage them to brush their teeth!

Try Establishing a Reward

Step 9: Stay Calm and Patient.

It’s easy to get frustrated when brushing your baby’s teeth when they refuse – but it’s important to remain calm and patient during this process. If you stay relaxed and reassuring, your child will be more likely to cooperate and follow instructions. Remember that children are learning and developing new skills all the time – so don’t be too hard on them if they don’t get it right away.

Step 10: Visit the Dentist Regularly.

Last but not least, make sure that you take your little one for regular check-ups at the dentist’s so that any potential issues can be addressed as early as possible. This will help make sure your baby’s teeth stay healthy and strong! Remember, the earlier you start practicing good dental habits, the better!

Brushing your baby’s teeth when they refuse can seem daunting, but with the right tips and techniques, it doesn’t have to be intimidating. With patience and practice, you’ll soon find yourself mastering the art of brushing your baby’s teeth – even when they don’t want you to!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. If your baby refuses to open their mouth, you can try singing to them and gently tapping their chin until they open up.

2. For a mess-free experience, use a finger brush instead of a regular toothbrush. This will make it easier for you to reach hard-to-reach spots in your baby’s mouth.

3. Distracting your little one by playing with their favorite toy or giving silly faces can help keep their attention away from the brushing process.

4. If none of that works, switch up the routine! Try brushing teeth after meals instead of before, so they’ll be more willing to cooperate since food isn’t involved in the equation.

5. praise your baby when they let you brush their teeth. Positive reinforcement will go a long way in encouraging them to cooperate during the brushing process.

With these five tips and tricks, you can make brushing your baby’s teeth even when they’re refusing an enjoyable experience. Remember to stay patient and be consistent with your brushing routine for the best results.

5 Things You Should Avoid

1. Don’t force your baby to open their mouth against their will. This could lead to a negative association with brushing and hurt the process in the long run.

2. Don’t forget to rinse your baby’s mouth after brushing, as toothpaste can irritate their tiny mouths.

3. Avoid using too much pressure when brushing, as this can be uncomfortable and even cause damage to their gums.

4. Don’t scold or punish your baby if they start fussing during the brushing process, as this could create a negative association with brushing teeth and make future sessions more difficult.

5. Lastly, don’t give up if it seems like nothing is working! Just keep trying different techniques until you find one that works for your little one, and keep at it for the best results.

These five tips will help ensure that brushing your baby’s teeth when they refuse is smoother. Patience and perseverance can help keep your baby’s smile healthy and bright!

Is It Ok Not to Brush Baby Teeth?

No, it is not ok to skip brushing your baby’s teeth. Even though baby teeth will eventually fall out, their health is still important for overall oral hygiene and development.

Baby teeth help guide the eruption of permanent teeth and play an important role in speech development. That’s why it’s so important to start brushing from a young age – even if your little one refuses!

It may be difficult to brush a baby’s teeth, but with these tips and tricks, you can succeed. Be patient, stay consistent, and never give up on brushing your baby’s teeth – even when they refuse! It will be worth it in the long run as you watch them grow into healthy, happy children with beautiful smiles.

What is the Minimum Age to Brush Teeth?

Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth as Soon

You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as their first tooth erupts – usually around 6-12 months of age. As soon as your baby’s teeth appear, it’s time to start a regular brushing routine. Make sure to use a soft-bristled brush designed specifically for infants and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).

Remember always to supervise your little one during brushing and help them learn how to do it properly. This will help instill good habits early on and ensure they have all the tools they need for great oral health!


Parenting is not always easy, and this definitely applies to brushing your baby’s teeth when they struggle. It can take patience and effort, but the task can become much easier with a few simple tips and tricks. Insightful conversation involving songs or stories, distractions, and activities that involve tooth brushing can all help.

Additionally, parents must be organized with the supplies needed for proper dental hygiene. Being prepared is vital to make sure teeth brushing is successful each time.

Remember, regular cleanings by a dentist help ensure overall dental health- so don’t forget to organize appointments if needed! Consistent and thorough teeth brushing habits will become second nature with some creativity and effort from both parent and child.

Hopefully, the article on how to brush baby’s teeth when they refuse has been helpful and informative.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

Leave a Comment